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25th Dec 2020

9 weird Christmas Traditions that only happen in Ireland


While Christmas is pretty much the same all over the world – presents, Santa and heaps of bubbles – there’s a few traditions that are unique to Ireland. Even though this year feels more than a little different, it’s nice to reminisce on what makes an Irish Christmas.

Some of these traditions will be no different this year, and others we’ll look forward to enjoying again soon.

1. It’s compulsory to watch A Christmassy Father Ted

The Father Ted Christmas special is gonna be chosen from many an ancient VHS boxset for viewing today.

Feck the Queen’s speech, this is pure TV royalty in Ireland.

2. Giant boxes of Tayto appear in every household

Even if you’re NEVER allowed a bag of crisps any other time of the year, a giant cardboard multi box of Tayto makes its way into every shopping trolley at Christmas.

No other crisp brand will do.

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3. The entire road gets a car wash

WHY?! I don’t drive so I don’t fully understand this weird Irish Christmas habit. The car washes are always rammed come Christmas Eve with every one getting their cars spick and span and looking good for the prying neighbours.

4. You go to midnight mass even if you’re not religious

You wouldn’t be caught dead in church any other time of year yet for some reason you still go along to midnight mass at your local church.

Mock Facebook events are made, you’re guaranteed to bump into your ex and the carols are never as nice as you remember.

5. You get a Selection Box no matter what age you are

And quite frankly, if you don’t you’re pretty pissed off. While the Fudge may be gone (R.I.P), the Cadbury Selection Box is an iconic part of Christmas.

It’s perfectly acceptable to eat the entire thing before the day is over.

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6. People stock up on heaps of alcohol because shops are closed on Christmas Day

The sheer panic in supermarkets at 9.55pm when people stress that fuck, what if they don’t have enough crates of beer to last for ONE WHOLE DAY?

We go mad.

7. Get the whole family out for a Christmas swim

Santa hats on and clothes off!

It’s always a million times more freezing that you imagine but the rush you get after and the hot tea and mince pies makes it all worth it.

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8. You get new clothes just for Christmas

The highlight of the year was getting brought to Debenhams and picking out something sparkly and glitzy and way OTT.

Getting to wear your fancy new threads on the big day was almost as thrilling as presents themselves.

9. Leaving out a can of Guinness for Santa

Ahh, good ol’ Santa. He’s always been a fan of the black stuff (or so our Guinness loving parents led us to believe).

Other kids across the world sweetly leave out milk and cookies and carrots… We leave out a nice cold can of G.

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Cheers to the return of the weird Irish Christmas in 2021…